Family hit: sister jailed for 20 years

2011-02-16 00:00

TEMBE­LIHLE Mdakane (38) of Nkandla in Zululand was yesterday sentenced to 20 years’ imprisonment for arranging the 2005 assassination of her brother, Nqobizitha Mdakane (32), on the instructions of their mother.

Mdakane admitted that she obtained the services of the hitman (a certain Mvelase) and that she accompanied him when he shot and killed her brother on September 22, 2005. She took him to the rondavel where her brother lay sleeping and pointed him out to the killer, who then fired two shots at him. He died of gunshot wounds to his head.

Judge Rishi Seegobin said what made the murder so appalling was that the accused and deceased were siblings, and no matter what his relationship had been with his mother nothing could justify his being killed in that fashion.

In favour of Mdakane, however, he took into account that she was “not the chief protagonist” and had fallen under her mother’s influence.

She became caught up in a situation she could have easily avoided, and it seemed her loyalty and sense of duty towards her mother were greater than her love for her brother, he added.

Seegobin said the murder victim had a wife and three children, and his wife was due to deliver a fourth child when he was killed.

“His death no doubt had devastating effects on the family. The reality is that the majority of our people are poor and struggling to survive … the senseless killing of a breadwinner creates even more hardship,” the judge said.

He said Mdakane herself was not a person of means. At the time she was 33 and eked out a living as a hawker in Johannesburg. She too has four children.

The court took into account that she eventually confessed, that she co-operated with police and that she is prepared to testify against her mother who is already in custody, as well as the hitman who is currently still at large.

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